Tomorrow, Tate Britain is unveiling a major exhibition of 20th century photographs, all taking the British capital as their main subject. "Another London: International Photographers Capture City Life 1930 – 1980" gathers 177 images shot by 41 photographers for most of whom London was foreign territory.
They came from the States (Al Vandenberg), France (Willy Ronis), Moscow (Ivan Shagin), and Ghana (James Barnor), shooting the dazzling landmarks and the East London slums. Highlights includes Henri Cartier-Bresson's series on the coronation of King George VI in 1937, Robert Frank's iconic "London (Stock Exchange)" (1951), and Olivier Richon and Karen Knorr's assiduous documenting of the Punk movement in the 1970s.
The exhibition is largely based on the collection of London photography created over the last twenty years by dealer Eric Franck and his wife Louise. With an estimated worth of a staggering £1 million, it includes 1,200 images by the likes of Eve Arnold, Bill Brandt, Irving Penn, and Ellen Auerbach, and has been promised as donation to Tate, which will double the institution's photography collection.
"This collection is completely unique, with both an intense focus on London as a subject and great diversity in the range of backgrounds and approaches of the photographers included," said Tate's curator of photography and international art Simon Baker. "It will fundamentally transform Tate's holdings of photographs, and make a major contribution to our photography acquisitions strategy, adding at a stroke substantial bodies of work by some of the twentieth century's most important photographers."
"Another London: International Photographers Capture City Life 1930 – 1980," July 27 – September 16, 2012, Tate Britain, Linbury Galleries, London